Department of Sport Science and Physical Education
- Exercise Science
- Physical Education
- Sport Studies: Health Promotion
- Sport Studies: Sport Management
Educator Preparation: Physical Education (P–12)
Pre-Professional: Preparation for professional study in allied health careers such as athletic training, cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, or for careers in wellness, fitness, exercise, recreation, strength and conditioning, or sport management
- Major requirements and course descriptions are outlined in the Huntingdon College Catalog.
- These programs of study are part of the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education
Get Ready for an Active Career
Through Huntingdon’s academic programs in the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education, you will learn both inside and outside the classroom, gaining hands-on experience that refines your skills, builds your resume, and prepares you well for graduate and professional school or for your first professional position.
If you love being active, want a fast-paced career, and sport and fitness are your passions, we invite you to explore the majors in SSPE, where you can combine your dreams with reality, get experience in your field as you learn by doing, and prepare for a career field you will never think of as work.
The Physical Education major prepares graduates to combine teaching and coaching responsibilities to enhance employability in the teaching field. Physical Education involves teaching pre-Kindergarten-through-Grade-12 youth the performance and understanding of basic motor skills, games, and life-long fitness activities, as well as the social and personal skills related to participating in physical activities. Physical educators at all levels are responsible for enhancing these skills while working with a variety of ability levels and meeting the needs of those who have disabilities.
Elementary physical educators teach levels Pre-K–5, specifically addressing children’s basic skills and movements. Middle school physical educators typically work with grades 6–8, honing skills and movements by using an array of organized individual and team activities. This level also stresses teamwork and social skills. Secondary physical educators (Grades 9–12) stress participation in life-long activities such as aerobics, rock climbing, hiking, biking, jogging, and functional training. Physical educators with additional training in Adapted Physical Education are responsible for ensuring that children and youth (ages pre-K through age 21) with disabilities receive quality physical education services as mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA, 2004).
Huntingdon physical education graduates may qualify to become certified to teach in Alabama with reciprocity in a wide range of states. Once you have completed your degree and passed your certification exam, you may seek a full-time teaching position immediately. Flexibility in your willingness to relocate or to teach at various grade levels will enhance your employability. Some physical educators choose to coach or officiate as well. You may advance in your career as either a director of physical education, adapted physical educator, athletic director, or school principal, among many possibilities.
Huntingdon’s PE major includes special training for those who are interested in working with special needs populations. Teaching placements in two different settings provide hands-on, resume-enhancing experiences.
The Exercise Science major provides students with a foundation in the sciences and emphasis in exercise, health, and sport. Exercise Science students develop advanced knowledge and competencies in the areas of exercise training, exercise metabolism, fitness and health maintenance, nutrition, cardiovascular risk identification, and rehabilitation. The Huntingdon College curriculum includes: applied anatomy/physiology; biomechanics/kinesiology; nutrition/weight control; exercise prescription for both normal and special populations; practicum; first aid/CPR/AED; and athletic training.
The Exercise Science major provides sound preparation for attending professional school programs such as physical therapy, medicine, chiropractic, occupational therapy, and exercise physiology. A special adviser from the Pre-Health Professions Committee works with students who are planning to enter allied health fields. The Exercise Science major is also a strong foundation for careers in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, corporate fitness, agency fitness (YMCA, YWCA, etc.), health clubs, managers of fitness facilities, personal trainers, and strength and conditioning coaches. These positions may require certification from organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). The Exercise Science curriculum prepares you for a diverse number of career options in this field — from medicine to working as a personal trainer.
Sport Studies: Health Promotion
For students who do not plan to enter an allied health field or who do not plan to manage a program or facility, the Sport Studies major with a concentration in Health Promotion may be the perfect fit. The Health Promotion concentration focuses on students who are pursuing employment opportunities in the fields of health promotion, health behavior, and corporate and private wellness management, or who are planning for graduate study in health promotion/education.
Health Promotion concentration students develop an understanding of the scientific and philosophical bases of kinesiological concepts and how they relate to health promotion and primary prevention of disease. In addition to sound communication and critical thinking skills and an understanding of the legal principles and ethical behaviors of those who are professionals in the sport and exercise industry, Health Promotion students learn how to evaluate and assess health promotion behavior among diverse populations and in various health promotion settings. Students gain experience in the field in various settings throughout the River Region.
Sport Studies: Sport Management
Sport Management involves any combination of skills related to planning, organizing, directing, controlling, budgeting and evaluating within the context of an organization or department whose primary product or service is related to sport or physical activity. Sport managers carry out these skills in a variety of organizational settings such as college sports; professional sports; amateur sports (Olympic/Paralympic); sport marketing and management firms; sport communication and news media firms; corporate sponsorship and advertising firms; sporting goods firms; arenas, stadiums, and civic centers; community recreation sports programs; social service agency sports programs (YMCA and YWCA); private club sports programs; and military sports programs. An upsurge in the numbers and variety of sports publications, sports-related Internet sites, and enhanced mass media presentation and exposure of sports events and activities are resulting in an increase in the need for individuals who have course work with special emphasis on sport communications/media. Growth in the number and variety of specialized sports facilities, an increase in sports tourism and adventure travel, the rapid progression of the globalization of sports, and the provision of sport-related goods and services for diverse market segments are contributing to the continued growth of the sports industry. These developments ensure that the sports industry will continue to rank among the largest and most diverse industries in the nation, providing many career opportunities for the future.
Some examples of career opportunities in Sport Management include:
- Administration: General Manager; Executive Director; Vice President; President/Founder; Athletic Director;
- Communication/Media: Sports Communication Director; Media Relations Assistant; Sport Video Manager; Sports Video Production Assistant; Assistant Manager for Sports Web Page/Internet Site;
- Facilities & Events: Executive Director of Facility Operations and Entertainment; Facility Manager; Special Events Director; Event Coordinator; Food and Beverage Manager; Special Events Promotion Manager; Customer Relations Manager; Guest Services Manager;
- Finance: Vice President for Finance; Associate Athletic Director for Finance; Ticket Manager; Accounting Manager; Director of Corporate Sales; Manager of Group Sales;
- Marketing: Vice President for Marketing; Director of Marketing; Director of Special Events and Promotions; Director of New Business Development; Director of Fan Development; Corporate Sales Manager; Tournament Operations Manager;
- Public Relations: Vice President for Public Relations; Director of Sports Information; Director of Sports Publicity; Director of Sports Media; Director of Community Relations; Corporate Communications Assistant;
- Travel/Tourism: Tournament Planner; Guest Relations Specialist; Adventure Travel Coordinator; Travel/Tour Guide; Special Events Coordinator
Learn by Doing
Each major offers opportunities for students to “learn by doing” through internships, teacher candidate clinical experiences, academic service, or practicum experiences—refining your skills, building your résumé, and preparing for life after you graduate. Students can gain experience working with special needs children through Huntingdon’s Adapted Physical Education partnerships with local schools or the College’s Ability Sport Network.
The majors in the Sport Studies and Physical Education programs are housed in the Dr. Laurie Jean Weil Center for Teacher Education and Human Performance. The Center offers a well-equipped sport medicine room, Pro Impact sport medicine and physical therapy clinic, a gymnasium in an adjacent building, and well-equipped classrooms.
- Michael Bamman, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator, Exercise Science
Associate Professor of Sport Science and Physical Education
Chair, Department of Sport Science and Physical Education
- Lisa Olenik Dorman, Ph.D.
Professor of Sport Science and Physical Education
Director of Academic Disability Services
Director of the Huntingdon College Ability Sport Network
- Michele Scharff Olson ’86, Ph.D.
Senior Clinical Professor, Department of Sport Science and Physical Education
Director Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subjects Research
- Jared Rehm, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Biomechanics
- Sara Shoffner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Alumni have entered graduate studies in all fields of sport and beyond, as well as professional schools for the study of medicine, law, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Huntingdon College SSPE alumni are also teaching, coaching, managing educational programs and facilities, training, and working in a wide variety of related positions.